Isat Buchanan, the attorney for Vybz Kartel, is already in England, where he has joined the other members of the legal team representing the incarcerated deejay, as well as the other three appellants in their appeal to the United Kingdom Privy Council.
Having been granted an expedited hearing on humanitarian grounds in the appeal against their murder conviction, for which they have been given life sentences, the case is set for February 14 and 15. A nine-member team, comprising Bert Samuels, Bianca Samuels, John Clarke, Linda Hudson, Buchanan and four other overseas-based attorneys, will face the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the highest court of appeal for many Commonwealth countries, including Jamaica.
Quizzed on how the preparation process was going for the legal team as well as the appellants, Buchanan told THE STAR, “We are ready.” He explained that Vybz Kartel and the other three appellants – Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John – will not be required to speak during the appeal, as everything is up to the legal team.
“The appellants are in prison. They will not appear via video link. The team appears on their behalf,” Buchanan said.
Last May, Buchanan, told FOX5 New York that Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, was suffering from Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder which he has reportedly been battling for seven years. Attorney for Shawn Storm, Bert Samuels, told The Gleaner at the time that “Kartel’s health played a significant role” in the hearing being expedited. It was originally set for April this year.
“The four appellants are looking at freedom,” Samuels said during an interview last October.
“Vybz Kartel is being treated as best in the circumstances but needs proper treatment,” Buchanan said during a brief interview on Sunday.
Regarding the level of confidence of the team of the appeal’s success, Buchanan stated, “I believe in the Jamaican Constitution, it is the last instrument in existence that restores humanity in Jamaica. That speaks for itself.”
Buchanan is involved in his own legal drama, which saw him being being granted a stay of his two-year suspension from practising law, pending the outcome of his appeal against the suspension period imposed by the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council.
“God and time,” he said, when asked how he was feeling about his own appeal.
” A thousand shall fall at thy side, and 10,000 at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked,” Buchanan said, quoting from Psalm 91.
In 2014, Vybz Kartel was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his associate, Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. He will be eligible for parole once he has served a minimum of 35 years in prison.